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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:53 am
Posts: 7
Hi Everyone,
I have finally got around to registering on this brilliant forum and wonder if I could ask for some advice?
My son took the 11+ November 2007, hoping for a place at one of the southend grammars. My older son currently goes there.
Unfortunately we are out of catchment, which automatically places us at a disadvantage (we need a much higher score than catchment children.)
Having finally got the test results it seems that my son has missed the required score by less than 1 mark. The passmark has been set at 303.00 and he scored 302.298!
I know that even with another mark he still wouldn't have automatically been awarded a place.
His Year 6 teacher will supply a letter confirming that he is predicted to receive Level 5 in all subjects for his SATS (he is in a high achieving primary school) and that he has been in the top group for all subjects since Reception Year.
When we told her he was hoping to take the test she was very enthusiastic about us doing it. She believes he is of the same standard as his brother (she also taught him in Year 6.)
My older son is by no means struggling, in fact he is doing really well at the school.
If we can supply evidence etc of academic ability and the fact that our older son is doing so well there, do you think we would have any grounds for appeal? I don't know what went wrong on the day, just sheer nerves I think. I also suspect he may have rushed things and made silly mistakes.
I'm so sorry if I have hijacked this thread but I'm not sure how to move it now!:oops:
Thank you so much.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7059
I've split the topic for you. :D

Being one point below, and having support from the school, it must be worth trying an appeal.

Strictly speaking, the brother is not relevant for an appeal against non-qualification, but it would be very relevant if the school is full and you are also appealing against oversubscription.

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Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:53 am
Posts: 7
Thanks Etienne, it's good to know you don't think it's a complete waste of time!
I've just rung the school and been told in no uncertain terms that we are very unlikely to win an appeal. Not sure what to do now.

This forum has been a great source of comfort to me this week. I don't think I could have got by without it. Not much housework been done in my house this week!
Thanks again


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7059
Unfortunately the success rate for appeals varies widely from area to area.

In 2005/2006, the last year for which figures have been published, 40.5% of all local authority maintained secondary school appeals were successful, whereas the figure for foundation schools was 31.8%, and for VA schools only 26.6%.

I've had a look at Southend-on-Sea, and the average for all secondary schools there was 18.5%. It is likely that the success rate for individual foundation and VA schools in this area is lower.

This shouldn't stop you appealing if you have a good case, and if your current school is supportive and thinks you have a chance.

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Etienne


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 Post subject: appeal
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:57 pm
Posts: 32
hi, just wondered if you have started your appeal process.i'm hoping to appeal for my daughter who missed out by 2 marks!! i have the support of her school but i have no idea what to do next.figured you are appealing for southend boys i'm going to appeal to westcliff girls! how do we start the process i think we only have 1 week left to appeal and i'm completely baffled. hope you can help and of course good luck!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8200
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi arc

You need to contact the Admission authority for the school you are appealing for. That is either Essex CC or Southend Schools Admissions Service. Both numbers are on the Westcliff School frontpage.

From there, you need to read Etienne's Appeal Q&As (link at the top of this page) and check back on both the Appeals and Essex forums for other people's past experience.

On such near misses I do hope that you and mjjmum are successful.

Please post back if you need to.

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:57 pm
Posts: 32
excellent thank you for that i'll give them a call in the morning! thank you


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 Post subject: Southend
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:53 pm
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We appealed about three years ago for daughter number 3 who wanted to go to Southend Girls. We are out of catchment too.

She had 2 sisters already in the school and was performing just as well at primary as they had (better at end of year five in fact). Unfortunately, she didn't do as well as expected in exam. Said she was distracted by a girl near her unwrapping sweets, etc. We mentioned this in the appeal. We told the panel how much she wanted to go there, how she had met so many of her sisters' friends and how the school was the obvious choice for her. We said we were keen for her to go to a school which would give a good cultural experience (language college) and we provided evidence of her academic ability by way of a ltter from her primary teacher and examples of her teacher assessment levels at the end of yer 5.

The result... A "no". Sadly the head teacher at the time advised me that she would have got in the school (without an appeal) had she been born in a different year, like the year before, or the year before that. This was nice to know but really sad to hear.

Trouble was, we were making our appeal the first year that Southend Girls had taken 150 instead of 140 and this made one **** of a difference to the appeals outcome. I had known of several girls in the years before that to get in without even reaching the Southend "passmark" (they lived in Southend catchment) and indeed the year before my daughter was turned down, an acquaintance had their appeal upheld on virtually no real grounds at all. She was out of catchment and had a brother at Westcliff but there was absolutely no other good reason. We fought from several angles and to no avail.

The year we appealed for a Southend Girls place for our daughter, there were roughly 40 admissions appeals (more than usual..... typical) and we were not the only parents who had other daughter/s already in the school. They only allowed one appeal that year. I think it was a girl whose mother had recently died or was dying from cancer. Personally, I would have admitted her too so that was a good thing but she was the only one.

It did turn me against the system, I'm afraid. Not because our daughter didn't get in on appeal but because I am 99.9 percent sure that she would have got in if we had had to appeal in the 5 years leading up to our year.

It is not an easy process and you need one **** of a good reason. Guess it varies from year to year though.

Good luck with all appeals.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:57 pm
Posts: 32
it was good to read your comment brainache, sorry that it didn't work out for you. to be honest i'm don't think we will get anywhere but it is a case of you don't know until you try. we spoke to westcliff who were pleased we were in catchment and only just missed out so you never know. also our daugher came 145th and last year they took 154 girls - so i think this means they are below their allocation which can only be a good thing!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:50 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:53 am
Posts: 7
So sorry to hear that Brainache, it sounds like a real ordeal. How is your daughter getting on now? I hope everything has turned out ok. Would she consider applying to SHSG to do her A Levels?

I think this forum proves we need more grammar schools in Essex and they are extremely popular. Why should it be so hard to get a good education for our children?

Arc, I think your case sounds good (although I am obviously no expert!) Best of luck!

I don't know what to do now. I am very disheartened by the whole situation. I desperately want my sons to have the same opportunities in life but things don't turn out the way you plan them do they?


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